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Grandmother Apologizes For Hold Up Attempt

Sun., July 28, 1996

A 71-year-old grandmother who tried to stick up a gas station to pay her back taxes apologized in court Friday and sobbed as a judge told her she faces either three years probation or a year in jail.

Mary Ruth Blanco, who has served as a foster parent for scores of needy children, said she was broke and having a bad reaction to the drug Prozac on May 4 when she used a borrowed gun to try to rob gas station attendant Rafael Chavez.

“I’m sorry for any inconvenience I caused you, but they had me on that medicine, Prozac,” Blanco told Chavez in court. “And I was allergic to it.”

“Only thing I wanted was an apology from her,” Chavez said afterward. “I feel better now.”

Chavez, who was protected by bulletproof glass, ignored Blanco’s demand for money and wrote down her car’s license-plate number. After she left empty-handed he called police.

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